[Crm-sig] New Issue: Re-label E22, E25, E71 to remove "Man-"

Christian-Emil Smith Ore c.e.s.ore at iln.uio.no
Sat Apr 13 10:18:05 EEST 2019

Dear all,

Martin's reflections are good.

An extra comment: As we all know language use reflect social and power structures.  It is my view that one should try to make the language (English) in this case as gender neutral as possible. In many languages gender neutrality is difficult to obtain, perhaps not possible since it is integrated in the inflection morphology (e.g. Russian).

However, there is no reason to make CRM labels gender specific except for mother and father.  In English ‘man’ can be used in the meaning ‘humanity’ and unspecified persons (as far as I understand it) which is not very good for gender equality.  Maybe one should try to replace ‘man’ by ‘human’.  This is a big task, and perhaps not possible in many groups (like the one represented by J R-M). In the group of CRM users it should not be problematic.

The question is:  Should we replace ‘man-made’ by ‘human-made’, or by ‘made’.  ‘human-made’ is already in use (‘The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere’ NASA) and stress the fact that humans are involved. Rob  mentioned that ‘human made’ is quite a mouthful. Well, it will add one syllable and two letters which is not very much.​



From: Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr> on behalf of Martin Doerr <martin at ics.forth.gr>
Sent: 12 April 2019 19:47
To: crm-sig at ics.forth.gr
Subject: Re: [Crm-sig] New Issue: Re-label E22, E25, E71 to remove "Man-"

Dear All,

I would like to stay neutral in this issue. Personally, I do not believe that changing language is the way to make sure we respect men and women equally and give them equal chances, and it gives me a taste of distracting from what should be discussed. Therefore I am not happy about it.

I have the impression that even the etymology given in wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_(word) is not complete. As a German speaker, I distinguish between "Mann" (male) and "Mensch" (human), and I suspect that the English "man" is actually a derivative of both, rendering it a homonym.  Homonymity would not imply a bias.

In Italian, French, Spanish the Latin term "vir" for adult male actually got lost in favor of derivatives of "homo" (human). Would be interesting to learn if this was actually connected with an increasing male domination or not, or if being "vir" became unimportant.

Man-Made appeared to me a good, established term, and we prefer established terms.

In German, we rendered it as "artificial object".

Asian languages such as Chinese and Japanese do not have default gender at all. Much better.

Anyway, if some people think it makes a difference...



On 4/12/2019 7:38 AM, Robert Sanderson wrote:

Dear all,

On behalf of the Linked Art consortium, I would like to propose that the labels for E22 Man-Made Object, E25 Man-Made Feature and E71 Man-Made Thing be changed to drop the unnecessarily gendered “Man-“.  In this day and age, I think we should recognize that inclusion and diversity are core features of community acceptance, and that including gender-biased language is alienating.

Thus the proposal is: E22’s label should be changed to Made Object, E25 changed to Made Feature and E71 changed to Made Thing.

The “human” nature of the agent that does the making is explicit in the ontology, in that only humans or groups there-of can be Actors and carry out Productions or Creations, so there is no ambiguity about non-humans making these.
This issue was discussed at length, and has been open in our profile’s tracker for 12 months now. We would greatly prefer that it be solved by changing the labels in the documentation, and thereby in the RDFS, rather than other RDF specific approaches such as minting new terms and using owl:sameAs to assert equality, or rebranding only in the JSON-LD serialization but persisting in other serializations.  The change is consistent, reduces the length of the class names, and is an easy substitution. The comprehensibility of the label is still the same. Given the renaming of Collection to Curated Holding, migration of existing data has the same solution - just substitute the labels.

As a second choice, if the above is not acceptable, we propose to instead replace “Man-“ with “Human-“ … only two additional characters, but a bit more of a mouthful.

Many thanks for your engagement with this issue!


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 Dr. Martin Doerr

 Honorary Head of the
 Center for Cultural Informatics

 Information Systems Laboratory
 Institute of Computer Science
 Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)

 N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
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 Email: martin at ics.forth.gr<mailto:martin at ics.forth.gr>
 Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl

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